Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Baroque Mini Quilt + Your Free October 2017 Calendar

I'm not sure about you but to me its felt like September barely started and then..... poof, here comes October! What a month this has been; lots of sewing, lots of crochet and cooking, lots of planning for the months ahead and dad had two surgeries. Fortunately, school holidays start on Friday so it's time for a wind down and recharge and its also time for my new monthly mini and your free October 2017 calendar.
This months little quilt is a stunner. Please welcome Baroque to my pattern family:
I'm a huge fan of cross designs and this mini quilt reminds me of the carvings on my grandmothers vanity table. It was a huge, imposing piece of furniture with rich dark wood and it was full of all her "womanly" possessions. Even as a little girl, I could stare for hours at the intricate patterns in the wood, that was of course when I wasn't totally memorized by my own reflection in her mirror :)
Furniture was beautiful and ornate back then, so much nicer than the modern sleek pieces of today. Baroque will bring a touch of grandeur to my mini quilt wall.
Baroque denotes a style that is both exuberant and grandiose and the rich colours of these Playground fabrics from Amy Sinibaldi were the perfect choice for this mini. The fabrics are beautiful to work with and teemed with that crisp white homespun, they make a striking mini quilt.
This design would look gorgeous in any fabric combination and I think multiple blocks would make a beautiful full sized quilt; something else to add to my must make list! I'll be interested to see what colour combinations you come up with :)
Baroque is a paper pieced design and is constructed in easy units which go together quite quickly. You should be able to piece this quilt top in a day and it finishes at around 16" square, making it the perfect size to use as a table topper or cushion front.
As always, the PDF pattern includes a colouring sheet for planning your fabrics/colours prior to sewing, full step by step instructions and colour diagrams, full sized templates and optional instructions for adding a hanging sleeve or corner hangers.
I chose my "go to" FMQ flower design to quilt my mini because I love that gorgeous texture and I finished it off with that lovely burgundy binding which frames the design perfectly.
Baroque is a very pretty mini quilt and its definitely my new favorite design, although I think I say that every month. I'm sure you are going to love this quick and easy pattern :)
If you would like to make your own Baroque mini quilt, from today until the end of October 2017, PDF patterns are available at the introductory price of $4.95 (AU) in my Big Cartel shop, HERE.
If you prefer an instant download, they are also available in my Etsy shop, HERE.
And I also have your free October 2017 calendar featuring the gorgeous Baroque:
To download and print your free calendar, just visit HERE.
I hope you love Baroque as much as I do. I really enjoyed working on this design and it looks so pretty hanging on my studio wall. It takes me back to sitting in front of my grandmothers beautiful mirror, brushing my hair like I was a princess waiting for her prince :) And he did come, but not on a horse, he came in a bronze HX Holden ;)... love you Les ♥
Happy sewing :)

Monday, September 25, 2017

It's A Blizzard

The encouragement and support I received from you guys during (and after) my 7 Day Mystery Sew Along was amazing. Even though we were miles apart, it felt like we were all together sewing our Snowflake's :)
It's great to know that each installment was fun, that they kept you interested, that they were manageable and most importantly, that they kept you guessing until the very last installment :) Apparently I can keep a secret ;)
Thanks to those who sent me photo's. I do love to see what you make with my designs and I'm honoured to share them here with everyone. Lets have a look at some of your Snowflake's:
Vicki's was the first Snowflake I saw and she was so quick getting it quilted and bound. I love her fabric choices; its a perfect soft and pretty snowflake and it looks great on her table. The quilting looks amazing too, just perfect for this design. Great job Vicki, it stunning and I'm thrilled you love your new table cloth (and thanks for the encouragement during my mini panic attack on Day 2 ♥).
Next up is Chris's and she totally proved me wrong, blue was not the only option to use on this design. It looks absolutely stunning in red. It will be perfect for Christmas and how striking will it look on her table amid the festive colours of Christmas? Thank you Chris, I hope you and your family enjoy your tablecloth for years to come.
Anne Ida also chose red for her Snowflake and this one is gorgeous. Have a close look at her quilting; shes my inspiration when it comes to FMQing. Anne Ida has a knack for choosing the perfect quilting design for every project she makes and she very cleverly sections areas to makes the whole design pop! I love it hun, its gorgeous ♥
This is Cintia's Snowflake and its just perfect. Aren't those fabrics gorgeous? Its a stunning version of this pattern and I hope she has fun quilting it. Thank you Cintia, I'm so happy to know you had fun making the quilt top and look forward to seeing the finished quilt ♥
Kim's version is gorgeous too. I love these fabrics and they look so striking against the white background. Great job Kim, I love following you on IG and look forward to seeing what else you have to share in the future and to see this quilt top finished.
Skye's version stopped me in my tracks, its just stunning. I love the yellow and gold tone backgrounds and I think the Snowflake is pieced in a Liberty print, not quite sure ♥ Skye did all her own quilting as well and it looks fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing this with us Skye, I'm thrilled you learned some new techniques along the way and I imagine you can't wait for the Christmas season to arrive so you can use your new table cloth :)
Saru's version is soooo soft and pretty and I love these fabrics. That background print is adorable, wonder where she got that? The print on the blue fabric is so delicate and pretty and I'm so happy she loves her Snowflake :) Saru has added a plain border to float the snowflake and her quilting is just gorgeous. Thank you Saru for this stunning version of my design and you mentioned you made it for a gift, so I hope the lucky recipient loves it too :)
Trevea chose a black and white combination for her Snowflake and how awesome is this? Those fabrics are so pretty and its made a stunning quilt top. Great job Trevea, I love this one so much. ♥ Trevea has been busy sewing this mystery with her three grandchildren, Marcus (13), Cameron (10) and Analiese (10) and here's Cameron's finished Snowflake:
Wow! Wow! Wow! Cameron this is gorgeous :) Your fabric selection is perfect for Christmas and look how perfectly pieced this is guys. There's no way I was sewing like this at 10 :) He's done an amazing job with the quilting as well. I love it Cameron, thanks so much for sewing along with me and sharing your Snowflake. You should be super proud of yourself and Trevea, I'm thrilled this project was fun for all four of you :) Can't wait to see the others.
And lastly, here's Laura's Snowflake. This is another gorgeous red version. Ladies you have me sold on this red and white combo, I want a red snowflake too :) I can't wait to see how you quilt this Laura, its going to be stunning ♥
Aren't these ladies clever? Each of the Snowflakes are perfectly pieced and I'm so proud of all of you. It just goes to show, the simpler the design the more stunning the quilt.
Thank you again to everyone who participated, or emailed or commented and to those who shared their work with me. You guys are the best! Sharing this design as a mystery was so much fun and seeing the results has filled me with joy!
If you didn't get a chance to send me a photo before this round up, still send one. Id love to see your Snowflake and if I get enough photo's I'll do a second round up post.
I have a new monthly mini to share with you later this week, so stay gunna love this one ♥
Happy sewing my clever peeps :)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

I Wrote An Article

The lovely (and super supportive) people at FaveQuilts and All Free Sewing asked me to write an article for their National Sewing Month Campaign. I was given a list of topics to choose from and my choice was easy; Quilting On A Budget. This topic epitomizes my quilting, crocheting, cooking and family life and I have shared tips from time to time on the blog but this article goes into a little more depth. The article went live last night, so I had to share it with you:

This is my very first article, so as you can imagine, I'm pretty excited :)
I've included a comprehensive list of ways to stretch your quilting dollar further and I focused on using and building your stash, planning your projects so you can shop the sales etc. plus recycling fabrics, clothing and embellishments to save you money.
I also included clever ways to shop or swap fabrics and also the importance of picking the right patterns for your fabric stash.  There's also tips on fabric storage and maintaining your tools, to help you save time and money.
You can read the full article HERE and let me know what you think guys because they asked me to contribute more articles and constructive feedback will help me grow :)
Thanks so much to Krista and the team at FaveQuilts and All Free Sewing, your support has been amazing. I was so thrilled to be a part of your National Sewing Month Campaign and seeing my article on your site is just so exciting!
Make sure you bookmark both of these sites or follow them on Facebook as they are both jam packed with inspiration, free patterns and an endless supply of tips and tricks :)
Happy weekending guys :)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Good Life ♥

What can I say? Bonnie and Camille design the sweetest fabrics and their new range The Good Life was on my must have list. It arrived last week and my excitement may have the postman thinking I'm insane but seriously, take a long moment and just look at this bundle; absorb all of its deliciousness:
Squeal! Its beyond all expectation, its absolutely stunning ♥ Generally I buy a few fat quarters or a Jelly Roll of each of their ranges because their fabrics work so well together. This is how I build up or re-stock my B&C stash after each project. Every now and then, I do treat myself to a FQ bundle to grab the whole range.
I've had months to plan and design ideas for this fabric but now that its here, I don't want to untie it. This is definitely going to sit on my studio shelf for awhile so I can admire it and pat it :)
I love all of the prints in this range and those colours are stunning. The navy fabrics are gorgoeus but OMG those aqua ones, come on guys, way too cute ♥
I could have been nice and untied the bundle to show you all the prints but I seriously can not bring myself to undo that tape :) If you want to see them all, you can go HERE and have a good look.
Now that meterage is available, I will order fabric for bindings etc. and that navy with the little white hearts is looking like a winner. I also love the red with the little white dot flowers ♥ Decisions!
When I do decide to untie this bundle, its going to make a gorgeous quilt but hey there's no rush right? I'm going to save it for that special project because that's what we do!
I hope today has been a sewing day for you. Next Monday I'm going to share photos of your Snowflakes. If you haven't sent me a photo yet please do, we would all love to see your work :)
Happy sewing :)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Jelly Roll Quilt

Saturday was the Fat Quarter Shop's first "Sew A Jelly Roll Day". What a great idea! We all love a pretty Jelly Roll, so I got back to work on a new quilt design:
I actually started this quilt weeks ago but it keeps getting pushed aside for other projects that are on a deadline. I'm using this lovely Colette Jelly Roll by Chez Moi and these prints are just stunning. I think my favorites are the paisley prints but I also love the those watercolours. Its a typical colour palette for me; its got my blues, greens and pinks and that lilac is just beautiful.
I'm a big fan of Chez Moi fabrics. They design such pretty fabrics and I used their Swanky range in my Teen Dreams quilt, quite a few years ago :)
So here's a little sneaky peek of what I'm working on. The Goshen Star block is a favorite of mine and this scrappy version is so pretty. Its partly paper pieced, so it takes a little longer but its fun to work on. I need to make a stack of these to complete this quilt and my pile is slowly growing.....slowly :)
My new design requires around 45 Jelly Roll strips so I had to add a few coordinating solid strips that I had in the scrap bag. It gives me more variety when constructing these scrappy blocks and its a great use of leftovers.
I've got a heap of trimming to do at some stage; my least favorite job but I'll pop on a DVD and whip through my stacks when everything is sewn.
I have a few different ideas to include in this pattern. At the moment I'm considering giving you two layout options (I'll only be sewing one) plus a bonus project to use some trimmings you will have in the alternate blocks. Its a little more work than usual but I like to give you good value for money with each pattern I produce.
I'm hoping that now I have this project back out on the sewing table and right in front of me, I can dig my teeth into it. I'm anxious to get it finished because it is a lovely design and it will be a gorgeous addition to my quilt pattern family. Now I have posted about it, it makes me more accountable so I really have no excuse :)
I'm off to sew up a few more blocks. I hope your spending your day at the machine too :)
Happy sewing :)

Friday, September 15, 2017

From One Mystery To An Enigma.....:)

A few weeks ago I received a lovely message from Suzanne. She had purchased a couple of my patterns and she wanted to show me how she used my Enigma mini quilt pattern and I just had to share this with you:
How awesome is that? A painted Enigma Barn Quilt. I didn't realise it was painted at first glance but isn't she clever? Such a pretty Barn Quilt and so unique. I love that she chose the same colour palette as my original mini and from looking in the background at that gorgeous quilt, I think Suzanne and I share similar colour tastes :)
I did a bit of enlarging and cropping of Suzanne's photos, just so you can see how perfect this is. She has done a fantastic job. I love it ♥
In Suzanne's own words, here is her painting process:

"Since you were so gracious to include an outline of the design with your pattern, I was able to go to Kinko's and blow it up 222% to fit my wood. I then applied three coats of white Kiltz exterior primer. Then I used watercolor wax free transfer paper to transfer the design to the wood. I used the green frog tape to tape off the sections and I used three coats of Ceramcoat patio paint. I chose not to put a sealer on it because I have found it yellows over time, plus if I need to touch it up in the future, I will not have to fight through the sealer to touch it up. I decided to hang this one inside and have finished the quilt that I had planned to make with that pattern for my daughter. I was able to make it twice the size because it was paper pieced and it turned out beautifully. Since I loved the color choices you made so much, I made another barn quilt that wasn't quite as difficult and have hung that on the front of my house. I'm not sure how well the Ceramcoat Patio Paint will weather, so this trial and error. There are tons of Barn Quilt tutorials on YouTube."- Suzanne

So there's another use for those colouring pages I include in my mini patterns, people! Just gorgeous. Its made me consider ordering some little fridge magnets using the diagrams from these mini quilt patterns. You can order the magnets HERE, if your interested.
Suzanne not only painted the design but she also made her own Enigma quilt, using her pattern enlargements:
Gorgeous isn't it? This one finishes at 27" square and Suzanne is using it as a wall hanging :)
It goes to show how versatile these mini quilt patterns are. I love bringing you a monthly mini because you can adapt them so easily by enlarging the pattern or making multiple blocks for a full sized quilt or as Suzanne has now shown us, they make fantastic painted Barn Quilts as well.
Suzanne also used the same colour palette for a Star Barn Quilt. Originally she painted Enigma to hang over her front door but she was worried about fading so she's keeping it inside and has hung this one instead. So pretty! I do love these colours :)
I think they are all awesome Suzanne ♥ Thanks so much for sharing them with me and allowing me to share them with my readers. It makes me happy to know that my pattern has been so versatile and you now have these gorgeous projects to admire. Well done and I cant wait to see what you do with your Electra pattern :)
Did you know the Fat Quarter Shop has declared September 16 its first "National Sew A Jelly Roll Day"?  How fun! I'm joining in with a new design which is already in progress. Next week I'll give you a sneak peek :)
Happy sewing :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Lemon and Thyme Biscuits

My dad surprised me with a freshly picked bag of lemons the other day. Our tree had to be removed last summer and he's sharing his crop with us until our new tree grows......awww, he's adorable :)
His lemons are plump and juicy and perfect for my morning ritual of warm water and lemon juice but I also saved one to make a batch of  Lemon and Thyme Biscuits:
These biscuits are amazing; they are soft and buttery with a powerful punch of lemon and complimented with the earthy flavour of fresh thyme. Lemon and thyme are a classic flavour combination and in a biscuit, they are divine. A plate of these disappears fast in our house. Everyone loves them because they're full of flavour and they have that subtle hint of sweetness.
I love this recipe because its quick and easy and its all done in the Kitchenaid so the clean up is minimal. The dough is silky soft and easy to work with and there's no need for chilling or resting, just mix, roll, cut, sprinkle with some sugar and bake.
My recipe makes around 15 biscuits and they store well in an airtight container and are apparently great for freezing, so my girlfriend tells me. So make a huge batch if you like, to use up any excess lemons you may have in the fruit bowl.
Did you know that just thinking about a lemon can cause your salivary glands to activate? Your checking aren't you?? I love the sharp, tangy taste lemon leaves in your mouth. Its so refreshing and these biscuits will keep your mouth zinging for ages :)
These Lemon and Thyme Biscuits are perfect to enjoy any time of the day and they are a wonderful addition to the picnic basket so you can cleanse your palette as you feed your soul in the great outdoors.
I use fresh thyme in my biscuits but you can substitute it with dried thyme if that's what you have on hand. Reduce your quantity though, as dried thyme is more concentrated and potent. I'd suggest about a teaspoon would be ample.
So if I've made you salivate and you want to try these Lemon and Thyme Biscuits, you can download my recipe HERE or right click on the picture below and save it to your computer for later:
I hope you enjoy these biscuits as much as we do. I'm off to raid dads lemon tree again because one batch of these biscuits, is never enough :)
Happy baking :)
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